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Windchill migration to Intralink

Windchill migration to Intralink

The interesting thing about the direction of this thread now is not the
merits nor the quality of PDM Essentials. It is the fact that PTC soiled
its reputation so badly with ProductPoint and with PDM products so
complex that expensive consultants are required just to install/config
the software in order to even get off the ground. How many folks have
lost sleep, weekends, reputations, raises, and/or jobs because of PTC
PDM products? There is a basic lack of trust amongst the user base.

And though PDM Essentials is marketed as "right sized" solution, PTC's
existing customers apparently have no path to get that "right size".

And PTC wonders why so many of its customers are constantly seeking a
non-PTC CAD file management solution?

A path to Essentials for existing customers would be nice. And if
Essentials goes away after a couple years, all the
repackaging/rebranding in the world won't save PTC's reputation.

Let's hope for the best.

Scott Pearson
Senior Designer

CAD System Administrator

S O U T H W E S T R E S E A R C H I N S T I T U T E(r)
Space Science and Engineering Division
Department of Space Systems
6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238

Windchill migration to Intralink

The other difference appears to be the support of non-Creo CAD data, which, unless it's changed, is not supported in Intralink.

Windchill migration to Intralink

I thought Product Point had a Windchill back end and served through
SharePoint?? maybe mistaken 😉

As we have been battling with user adoption for anything more than PDM and
CAD Data management were very interested in PDMLink Essentials to the
point that we would start from scratch and move the data the we had
migrated from intralink 3.3ish across to PDMLink then several more
upgrades to Windchill 9.1.

We would only take latest data and leave the rest in a VM Windchill server
for reference

There is also the ORacle to SQL Migrator thats available

Best Regards

Chris Collinson
CAD Administrator

Windchill migration to Intralink

The UI would look similar. PDMLink, Intralink and PDMLink Essentials are built on top of Windchill.

Thank you,

Ben H. Loosli

Windchill migration to Intralink

ProductPoint was Windchill based, just integrated into the Sharepoint data structures instead of using SQL Server or Oracle.

You can downgrade, but it would require a manual export from the 'higher' system to a native filing structure before you could use an import tools to automate the populating of the 'lower' product.

Oracle to SQLserver Migrator from MS works for some, but PTC has their own modified version and it takes 2 passes to fully migrate the data. We looked at migrating during the Windchill 10 upgrade, but have since decided to stick with Oracle. The 10g to 11g upgrade is a simple export and import, change the server location in Windchill and done.

Thank you,

Ben H. Loosli

RE: Windchill migration to Intralink

Thanks all

The discussion turned out to be very interesting even if it went a bit off scope.

I will keep from that discussion

People simply do not move from PDMLink to Intralink

PTC launches another lite version of a PDM which may end up being another distraction...

My view on that one is that too many businesses are trying to resist change and try to make software adopt their way of working rather than having an approach where business process and software deployment/configuration are developed together. In other words, they try to work the same old way into modern technology. Then yes PDMLink can be difficult to implement under those circumstancies.

As a consequence PTC is under pressure and develop tools which do not provide support for business processes and it is more used as a vault (or super vault thanks to lfe cycle state) but the hard work, ie the real processes, workflow etc.... is not available into those product.

Again thanks a lot for all your feedback.

PS: I really wonder why PTC stoped ProductPoint. Was it due to how sharepoint work ? A few weeks ago, I was discussing with a Managing Director who said PDMLink was too expensive and complex and he asked why we were not using sharepoint, it is free !!!!

Well no wonder, with such comments companies get into real mess with systems !!

Windchill migration to Intralink

I think that this is a great observation:

"My view on that one is that too many businesses are trying to resist
change and try to make software adopt their way of working rather than
having an approach where business process and software
deployment/configuration are developed together. In other words, they try
to work the same old way into modern technology. Then yes PDMLink can be
difficult to implement under those circumstancies.

Working for a company that has had PDM for a LONG time, I don't think that
we have as much of the mentality of making new technologies work like old
stuff, and for us, that's a good thing.

But I think that there is another part of the problem as well, that is
often overlooked, and I think that it's simpler than change or new
technology working like old. The fact of the matter is that PDM/PLM ain't
"easy" in most ways. While PDM/PLM will eventually make life better (or
should), I don't think that's the reason that you install PDM. You do it
to have control over your data, to make your data more readily available
to others, to have history on your data, and a whole host of other

Keeping all of that straight, at the end of the day, IS NOT EASY, and
under the covers, ANY PDM/PLM worth it's weight in salt is handling all of
this "stuff", and handling it quite well. And, quite frankly, users need
to have a little bit of understanding about what they are doing when they
are putting stuff in, and taking stuff out. PDM is NEVER going to be as
easy as File / Save. PDM IS NOT A DISK FILE STORAGE SYSTEM. If you think
that it is, you're going to be frustrated as an admin, and you're going to
have frustrated users. Admins and users MUST understand this, and this
distinction vs. simple file saving is paramount.

I remember back almost 20 years ago when we installed our first PDM
system. User hated it. It was complicated. It was complex. It took
more clicks. It took longer to do everything. And the list went on.
BUT, the first time that first time that we pulled someone out of the
fire, and we were able to retrieve an assembly from a prior time, EXACTLY
the way that it was prior in time, the griping succeeded. And when users
finally started to realize that MULTIPLE people could ALL be working on
the same thing all at the same time, without any risk of squashing each
other's changes, users began to see the vision.

We are kind of bagging on PTC for not having a "simple" solution, or a
"small" solution. I think that it's probably true that PTC needs a
"small" solution, but I think that we might be kidding ourselves to think
that we're ever going to get a "simple" solution, that does PDM, with PDM
being the magic words in the sentence.

PDM DOES work, BUT PDM is work.


Windchill migration to Intralink

If I remember correctly, PTC developed ProductPoint against SharePoint 1.x. There were changes by MS in SharePoint 2.x that made what PTC was doing very hard to upgrade into. MS kind of forced PTC to drop the product.

Thank you,

Ben H. Loosli

Windchill migration to Intralink

Since this thread brought up PDM Essentials, I feel the need to chime in on this.
At the same time, this forces me to finally give some feedback to some postings from last year regarding:
· Data Management for Small/Medium Business Deployments
· PDM - Windchill

Now that PDM Essentials is officially announced/released I can comment on this without breaking any confidentiality agreements.

First some background/update...Being part of the Technical Committees (TC) provided me the opportunity to voice my concerns regarding the PTC commitment to Small Businesses solutions for CAD Data Management tools when the ProductPoint solution was retired. At the time I commented that Windchill in all its glory is far too large and complex for Small Businesses. We do not have the resources required for installation and administration (and possibly never will), and there is no way that we can afford the cost and risk of hiring outside resources (such as a VAR) to do a implementation, migration, and possibly administration.

Additionally, it was/is unfair to ask/force customers into the PLM world of Windchill, when PLM is not what all customers need and/or want. It is also unfair for ANY vendor to assume they know what is best for my business (any business), and should be providing the right tools (multiple) for ALL of their customers, not just the large customer/corporations. We know what PLM is. We understand all the benefits (and downsides) of having a suite of applications, such as Windchill, that communicates with each other, and that comes from one vendor. However, we already have products and/or processes in place, and they work. PDM (CAD Data Management) is a Value Added Engineering TOOL, that is what we need/want. Nothing more!

Due to the "uproar" amongst the user community when ProductPoint was retired PTC decided that a new Windchill package would be introduced specifically focused on CAD Data Management for Small Business Customers (as well as small deployments (satellite locations) for the large customers) for 25 CAD users or less.
At that time, PTC/USER formed a TC Focus Group (along with PTC) to help PTC understand the need/requirements, and prioritize what this new package should focus on to benefit SMB customers.

Did we succeed?
I admit, as the lead of this Focus Group, no we did not, not completely.
I have been evaluating PDM Essentials since August of 2012, and even though PDM Essentials does take a big step over other Windchill modules with a simplified installation, a simplified installation is all that is different from PDMLink.

This TC Focus Group is continuing to meet with PTC to make strides in simplifying PDM Essentials beyond the installation, with the intent that continuing improvements will truly make this package a CAD Data Management TOOL that SMB customers can use easily and efficiently as previous PDM TOOLS (INTRALINK 3.X).

Comments/Opinions below are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the comments/opinions of PTC/USER and/or other Technical Committee Members.

PDM Essentials has the following capability:
Floating Licenses
Multi-CAD Data Management
Workgroup Managers for:
Document Management
Promotion Request (simple change)
Publishing and Visualization
CREO View Lite is included

Capabilities not included:
Closed-Loop Changes
Add Windchill Modules (ProjectLink, Quality, etc.)
Index Search
ECAD Support

What PTC did with PDM Essentials was make it easy to install, and put in a few "extra" incentives (Workgroup, Visualization, etc.) to make this look appealing.
Well I am sorry, but that is not enough to make Essentials appealing to me.

The simplified installation is nice, however, how many times does software get installed to make this worthwhile?
I think back over the times I have installed PRO/E and/or PRO/INTRALINK, and it is not like I am running around to multiple servers installing this software just because I can, and because it is simple. And, just because the installation of PDM Essentials is simplified does not mean I am going to do that either.

In my experience, whether with a large company or small, typically this is a once and done installation (excluding upgrades).
So, now I have to ask, why is Windchill (whatever module) so complicated to install in the first place?
Would it not make more sense for PTC to make ALL of Windchill installs simplified?

What comes after the installation, regardless of the software/product/vendor, is what typically is the most time consuming and/or complex, and that is the setup/customization. Setting up and/or testing the UI, permissions, roles, life cycle states, mapkeys, folder structure, custom XMLs, etc., etc., has always been the bulk of the work.

To be fair, PDM Essentials does come with some predefined settings in an attempt to also simplify the setup/customization. However, what is predefined is not going to fit all companies, and there are going to changes/additions that need to be made, and this is what people are not being shown in the marketing presentations/demos that are occurring.

SOME of the things that are not being shown in the presentations (and concerns to think about:




There is a Basic Lifecycle called CAD Data Management.
Carefully check the Transitions that are defined!
One example: If you allow your users (CAD users) to do things such as Promote to Release (instead of CM and/or ADMIN) then maybe this is not an issue for you.

Access Controls

Since the CAD Data Management Lifecycle is set to Basic, all Access Controls (privileges) need to be defined in the Policy Administration/Access Control area.

First you need to understand the differences between Site and ORG level admin, and where you should be making changes.
Then, once in the Policy Administration tool, understand the differences between the Domains that are established.
Then, once in the proper Domain, try to interpret/understand the UI before even attempting to change anything.
By the way, you also need to know/understand what these are as well: WTObject, EPMDocument, ADHOC settings, and WTMarkup

Windchill migration to Intralink


Thanks for this information and taking the time to write such a good
article, it certainly helps.

We have had Windchill in for some time now and I still get users saying
things like "Can't we go back to Intralink" or "Intralink was so much
easier". Like I say to my users no matter what Database system you put
in place there will always be an overhead to the user for data management,
but I do agree with them that with Intralink it did seem far easier, I'm
talking about Ilink 3.2 and 3.3 here.

For Installation, I could usually upgrade the ilink server over night
after doing a couple test upgrades which I could do during the day on a
dev box but now I need to spend a few weeks testing upgrades with
Windchill and at the end of all my testing I still have our VAR come in
and do the LIVE upgrade because I don't feel confident enough that if
something should go wrong how I could get out of it and as you say, there
are so many facets to Windchill, that just one bit going wrong could kill
the Live server or worse lay undiscovered and bite you in the backside at
a later date.

I think PTC are making moves in the right direction with the
installations, 10.1 is so much easier to install than say 7 or 8 but thats
where the changes for us end, we really only want to do Document
Management and CAD Data Management not PLM, unfortunately we have other
systems so ingrained that you would need a ton of tnt to blow them out of
the company. BUT they work for us so why change it.

PTC should look at what was so good about the later version or Intralink
and why CAD users liked it, notice I said later versions here, I remember
trying Ilink 1.1 up then 2.1 up and IMHO they were awful, but like most
software it got better and by later v2 and v3 PTC had a really good
product, which fitted well for us.

Thanks again Joel

Best Regards

Chris Collinson
CAD Administrator
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